Saturday, 26 January 2008

Abbey View Margaret River Shiraz 2004

Long time since we've had one of these and it was once our all time favourite, so I was looking forward to having another taste. We took this along to our local Italian Restaurant 'Cortina' and really enjoyed it.
Quite a nice vanilla spice and very well put together. As a comparison we opened a bottle of Wynns Cab/Shiraz/Merlot blend and found it sadly lacking compared to the Abbey View, which was a surprise because the Wynns is usually right up there for a cheapie.
The Abbey View Cabernet is a lot different and I find this shiraz to be nicer and less 'distinctive' - I'd like to try a different vintage of the Shiraz fo comparison.
So this wine was definitely worth cellaring and luckily I still have a couple left. I can't really make detailed tasting notes, because I'm writing this the next morning and usually prefer to blog when I'm actually drinking. Unfortunately after a big dinner and a couple of bottles I fell asleep :)
Drinkability 91
Value 90
Price $15 (or there abouts, I bought this a long time ago, before i started keeping records) Cellar masters.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Classic McLaren LaTesta Shiraz/Grenache/Cabernet Blend 2003

A little disappointing, despite the low price. I bought 8 of these 2003 La Testa for $9.95 each... just because the 2000 was so damn good. The 2000 was a little more expensive, but a lot better drinking.
This has promise, a lovely fruity vanilla nose. Just the way I like it. However, on the palate it's a little ordinary. Really nothing special and only faintly reminiscent of it's predecessor. It's spicy and fairly smooth, but just doesn't have anything to write home about.
I'd drink it as a quaffer, but nothing more. Very disappointing after such hype and promise.
Drinkability 87
Value 90
Price $9.95 (Get Wines Direct)

Friday, 18 January 2008

Devil's Lair Margaret River Cab Merlot 2005

This was as close as I'll come to winning the lotto... found this at my local BWS under the price code of the Devil's Lair 5th Leg. Now they were charging way too much for the 5th leg, but at $22 for the Margaret River Cab Sav Merlot, well... that was amazing.
Long story, but my honest side made me ask if they had the right price... the nice lady said that she'd made a mistake ordering this and they had to sell it as if it were the 5th Leg. Giddy up!!
I bought 4 bottles and will try to get the last three tomorrow :)
This is a fantastic wine. Earthy tones very much like the Abbey View Margaret River Cab Sav, but with more finesse. Once this wine opens up (and it took over an hour of breathing in the bottle, almost two hours) it has a superb blend of chocolate, coffee (mocha?) and berry. Dry and dusty too, but with very fine tannins. It's really a brilliant wine and I hope I can get the remaining three bottles.
Truly something special and proof that you have to pay a little more for quality. (even if you get it for nearly a third of the price)
Drinkability 93/94
Value 99 (at the cheap price, 89 at full price)
Price $22 for me in a chance of a lifetime... it retails for at least 2 or 3 times the price normally.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

D'arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2005 (McLarenVale)

Spur of the moment purchase and it turned out to be quite satisfactory, despite paying $7 over what I could get it for at Kemenys... My first foray into the D'Arenberg stables and it certainly isn't bad.
Quite spicy in my opinion, pepper and spice rather than chocolate or vanilla. Not a bad thing, certainly this winemaker has pedigree, even at this, the low end of the label.
Not worth the $22 I paid on a whim, but at $15, this wine kicks arse. It pays to shop around, so don't be afraid to get online or look up people like the Red Bigot.
I have a couple of bottles of the Dead Arm in my cellar, so I am looking forward to trying them one day. Not for a while though... this wine deserves to be given a lot of bottle time.
Drinkability 91
Value 87
Price $22 (Vintage Cellars Hamilton - but Kemenys have it for $15)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Black Wattle Shiraz 2005 (Coonawarra/Padthaway)

Tonight I really felt like this wine, having had a few bottles now I knew what to expect. To my surprise though, this wine was even better than I had remembered.
Smoky Rasberry is the main gist of this, it might sound a little simplistic, but this is an awesome wine. Solid and very memorable.
As I have said before, this won the Cellarmasters Wine of the Year and that is no small accomplishment really as Cellarmasters is one of the biggest retailers in Australia...
I wont go on, my other reviews tell the story, but I wish I had bought more of these when the chance was there.
Drinkability 92
Value 95
Price $13 Cellarmasters (on special)

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Classic McLaren LaTesta Shiraz/Grenache/Cabernet Blend 2000

Opened this bottle of Classic Mclaren La Testa Blend tonight just to see what I thought of it, as I heard that Get Wines Direct have the 2003 vintage for $9.95 a bottle!!
I was not disappointed and even though this one cost $17.95 it's well worth it. Maybe not the $55 advertised RRP, but I can recommend this as a good cheapie.
(which is always a good thing)
It has a nice fruity and smoky nose and very smooth palate with fine tannins that finishes long and with a distinct liquorice aftertaste. Very nice indeed.
Not my usual vanilla thing, but variety is the spice of life.
I just got online and ordered another 8 of the 2003 that is coming out, so that will hopefully be as nice.
Drinkability 90/91
Value 93
Price $17.95 (Get Wines Direct)

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Gotham Langhorne Ck/ Mclarenvale Shiraz 2004

Ok, I think I may have already mentioned that I bought this for the label, but I have bought a few dozen of it quite cheaply at auction online and as a sub $10 wine it's quite distinctive. It definitely has a flavour of it's own.
I have learnt that to really enjoy this wine it needs to be left overnight once opened, it seems to take on a life of it's own and really develops some quite striking honey characteristics after a day or two in the bottle. Something I like for it's uniqueness.
It's still a little punchy (not sure if that's the word, but that seems right) and although it can be smooth, it's not and easy drinker. Still, that's what you get and I think you either like that, or don't.
I have had a few really high quality wines lately and they have put this Gotham back a little. It's not bad, but there are better for just a little more.
You really do have to love the label though :)
Drinkability 88
Value 88
Price $8 (Grays Online)